Tight results the flavour of the weekend in NZ

THERE was one overarching theme of all the results in the ANZ Premiership over the weekend – well almost – and that was small margins.

In a thrilling upset, the Tactix showed they are a team to beat this season after they downed the Central Pulse 50 goals to 49.

It did not take long for one side to pinch a goal off their opponent’s centre pass, and it was the Tactix who did so after a clever intercept in mid court.

However the Tactix were unable to consolidate on their following centre pass, so their lead was short lived.

The Pulse did consolidate though after pinching that goal, so things returned to a goal for goal, on centre pass affair.

The Tactix finally did manage to properly convert a turnover, and as such were the ones to take an early lead.

Things went goal for goal for much of the rest of the quarter so that meant the home side had their nose in front, but the Pulse were able to work their way back into the match and level it up again.

It went back to a goal for goal affair, but one late goal to the Tactix saw them take the narrowest of leads into the first break.  

The Pulse got the better of the stars in the second term, and as such briefly took the lead before it again returned to a goal for goal affair.

As the first half of the quarter came to a close though, the Pulse finally managed to actually get somewhat of a decent buffer, but minutes later the Tactix had worked their way back into the game and levelled things back up again.

Momentum kept switching between the sides as the seconds ticked down to half time, but crucially for the Pulse the half time lead was theirs, even if it was only two goals.

The Tactix got the much better start to the third term, eliminating the Pulse’s lead and taking the lead for themselves. However the Tactix could only amass a lead of no more than three goals as the Pulse levelled things up and certainly were not going to allow the opposition to score easily.

Both sets of defences were particularly impressive, getting a lot of tips and not making it simple for their opponents to shoot.

Ultimately the Tactix held a three goal lead at the final change but it really was anyone’s game with quarter left to go.

Both sides traded blows to begin the final quarter, but crucially for the Tactix they kept their lead, and even managed to extend it out to as much as four.

But the Pulse certainly were not done, and as the quarter got towards it’s back end the Pulse worked their way back into the match and ultimately drew level.

Teams then went goal for goal, but with 40 seconds to go the home side scored one final crucial shot, and with another clever intercept in midcourt, were able to kill time and deny the Pulse one more opportunity to level it up.

For the Tactix Kimiora Poi (42 feeds, 17 assists, three gains, two deflections and an intercept) was instrumental in midcourt, while Jane Watson (eight deflections, two gains, two intercepts) and Karin Burger (three gains, three deflections, two intercepts) starred in defence.

Meanwhile for the Pulse Whitney Souness (25 feeds, 15 assists two intercepts) was busy through midcourt, while Kelly Jury (six gains, two intercepts, three deflections, three rebounds) was a star in defence.

In other results:

  • The Magic backed up last weekend’s performance with a stellar five goal win over the Steel in the first of their two matches over the weekend.

It was tight right the way through the match, and despite a Steeley resurgence in the third term that saw the margin halved to two, the Magic then responded in the last to win the final quarter and take the win.

For the Magic Erena Mikaere (six gains, five deflections, three intercepts and three rebounds) had another great game, as did Simmon Wilbore (39 feeds, 24 assists).

Meanwhile for the Steel Kate Burley (nine deflections, five gains, three rebounds, one intercept) and Georgia Heffernan (10 goals from 16 attempts, 25 feeds, 17 assists, one deflections, one rebound) both starred.

  • The Mystics bounced back from last week’s shock loss with a narrow three goal win over the Stars.

The Mystics lead by six goals at half time, but a second half resurgence saw the Stars cut that margin in half but ultimately not fully eliminate the deficit when the final siren went.

Grace Nweke (46 goals from 46 attempts, one rebounds) was back to her usual best for the Mystics, while Phoenix Karaka (six gains, four deflections, two intercepts) also had a great game.

Meanwhile for the Stars Mila Reuelu-Buchanan (46 feeds, 17 assists, two gains, two intercepts) was a workhorse through midcourt alongside Gina Crampton (46 feeds, 25 assists).

  • In the one result that did not fit the tight margin pattern of the weekend, the Tactix made it two from two after they comfortably beat the Magic by 17 goals.

The Magic were actually in front at quarter time, but the Tactix soon changed that and after scoring double the number of goals the Magic did in the second quarter, went on to run away with the match.

For the Tactix Aliyah Dunn (43 from 43, five feeds, two assists) was scoring at her finest, while Burger (seven deflections, five feeds, three intercepts and a feed) and Poi (30 feeds, 18 assists, one gain, one deflection, one intercept) both also had great games.

Meanwhile for the Magic Claire Kersten (22 feeds, 16 assists, two intercepts, three deflections and a gain) and Mikaere (four gains, three deflections, two rebounds and two intercepts) both played well.

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